Headed to San Diego Soon
My father is in his late 80's, has advanced Alzheimer's, and late last year was moved into a care facility, as my step-mother was no longer able to adequately care for him.
His birthday is coming on March 6th, and I will be driving down to visit, more for me than for him.
But, that isn't the point of this post. It is about the question that I will certainly be asked.
"When are you going to retire?"
My father worked in the defense industry for 25 years, with a defined benefit (a.k.a. "Pension") and lifetime healthcare. That was pretty much the norm in the late 1950's when he joined Sperry Univac, that morphed into his role at Lockheed Missiles and Space in Sunnyvale, California. Those were jobs to last a lifetime.
He left after 25 years, then spent 5 years at Apple Computer in the late 1980's/early 1990's finally hanging up his spurs when he turned 57, walking away with 80% annual payout from his pension, plus lifetime healthcare coverage (granted, it is Kaiser) to boot.
He has enjoyed a 30+ year retirement, most of it spent well, traveling, sailing, and enjoying the moderate weather near the ocean in San Diego (Point Loma for those who know the area).
So, whilst my dad isn't coherent enough to ask the question, it is surely going to be asked (again) by my step-mother. And the answer will be the same as it was at Thanksgiving, and his birthday last year, and Christmas in 2020.
I will not be retiring until I am eligible for Medicare. Sure, I could sell my house here in South San Jose for about $500K in profit (or more), and buy somewhere in a low cost, low tax state, eliminate my mortgage, and once I turn 62, I can begin to leverage my retirement accounts (defined contribution only, aka 401K), frugally.
But healthcare? That will run the wife and I about $1,700 a month, or $20K a year. Sure, that is only until I qualify for medicare, but 8 years of that is not in the budget or plan.
Nope, I will be working until I am at least 65, if not longer. The pre-boomer generation had it even better than the boomers, and as a Gen Xer myself, I am pretty screwed.
My standard answer is that I could retire now and live comfortably until I die, as long as that is before next Thursday...